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Social values, ethics

Science Spotlights

Participants sit at tables in a meeting hall, completing fun, interactive exercise
A recently released ‘social vulnerability’ protocol provides a detailed manual for applying social science to support forest and river planning efforts (e.g., forest plan revision). Specifically, the protocol is designed to engage the public about the importance of (and tradeoffs among) ecosystem services, as well as those drivers of change influential to such benefits.
Historical and projected energy consumption for the United States according to energy source (EIA 2018).
Major United States energy sources - fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), biofuels (ethanol), and wind - are concentrated in grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains. We aim to provide syntheses of potential ecological effects of energy development and production on grassland systems and identify opportunities to mitigate these effects during the planning, construction, and production phases by using informed methodology and improved...
Photo of a fen with floating mat on the water. The mat has Carex limosa and Sphagnum mosses
Mountain fens (peat-accumulating wetlands) are groundwater-dependent habitats (i.e. groundwater dependent ecosystems) protected under the Clean Water Act and other federal mandates in the United States. There is increasing interest in documenting and monitoring the occurrence and characteristics of fens. In addition to supporting unusual plants, fens are sites of carbon and water storage and long-term ecological stability, since the underlying...
Research to love graphic
A new paper in the journal Climatic Change highlights human incentives for positive change in uncertain situations. The research shows that humans will take collective action to address a common problem if the problem, the amount of action needed to address the problem, and the potential consequences of not solving the problem are framed appropriately.
Mountain big sagebrush and mountain brush community in the Toiyabe Range, central Nevada. Photo by Jeanne Chambers
The Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome (Science Framework) provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome.
The Rocky Mountain Research Station is a partner in helping to protect or restore relationships between residents of the Flathead Indian Reservation and the Mission Mountain landscape.
The Rocky Mountain Research Station, in partnership with the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of Montana, and the University of Leeds, UK, are working together to protect or restore relationships between residents of the Flathead Indian Reservation and the Mission Mountain landscape within the reservation.
Westslope cutthroat trout, native to the Columbia River and upper Missouri River hybridize with introduced rainbow trout and have been extirpated from large portions of their historical range.
Hybridization between westslope cutthroat trout and both rainbow trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout is a major conservation concern for the species.  A new broad-scale analysis of hybridization patterns found many pure populations of westslope cutthroat trout in headwaters streams.
Cover of Exotic Brome-Grasses in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems of the Western US – Causes, Consequences, and Management Implications
Invasive annual brome grasses are resulting in altered fire regimes and conversion of native arid and semi-arid ecosystems in the western United States to annual grass dominance. The problem is particularly acute in sagebrush shrublands where cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has resulted in annual grass fire cycles that are placing numerous native species such as greater sage-grouse at risk and threating ecosystem services such as livestock forage,...
For nearly 50 years, scientists at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (established as the Forest Service Wilderness Management Research Unit in 1967) and their collaborators have compiled important research on natural and social science issues pertaining to wilderness. This archive neatly organizes such research, and makes it available to the public in digital format.
Native trout are culturally and ecologically important, but climate change is likely to shrink the cold-water environments they require. Much can be done to preserve these fish but efficient planning and targeting of conservation resources has been hindered by a lack of broad-scale datasets and precise information about which streams are most likely to support native trout populations later this century. The Climate Shield is a useful took for...

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